Fusion 1.0 First Impressions

In between dinner and watching TV, here are my initial impressions of Fusion 1.0:

  • As seen above, it uses the VMware file formats we all know and love, with minor variations – such as hiding them all in a single folder/bundle to keep things tidy.
  • Unity is slick. Someone at VMware took the time to write code for a window backing store, with the result that Exposé works pretty well indeed, with hidden window contents being displayed in a believable fashion when you hit F9 or F10. And windows minimize to the Dock with the genie effect.
  • XP performance is mostly smooth, although it’s still hammering away at the hard disk thanks to Windows Update (which is a dog in every possible sense, real and virtual). I will be setting up the latest Office on this, so check back later.
  • The little Spotlight-like application launcher is neat – I can’t wait until someone codes up a Quicksilver plug-in to replace it, though.
  • There doesn’t seem to be an easy (i.e., 2-click) way to access the Windows Control Panel or anything resembling the system tray in Unity mode (which is a pain if, like me, you require multiple input methods).

And, finally, the GMA 950 on my Macbook doesn’t cut it for 3D acceleration:

Not that I have any real need for it – I want VMware because it’s the closest thing to a virtualization standard and want to manipulate VMs across machines, not necessarily because of the frills.

Overall, so far, so good. Next up, right after Windows Update and Office, I’m going to try the Citrix client as well.

It’s a bit overkill to run an entire OS just for the sake of having seamless window support, but I’ve been getting pretty annoyed with Citrix’s hopelessly archaic Mac OS X client, and my Java and Dashboard hack isn’t compatible with the new VPN setup we have in the office now…

Anyway, anyone know how the $20 mail-in rebate works for non-US customers? I find the whole thing to be rather anachronistic, really…

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